Natalie Portman on girly rom-com cliches: 'That stuff offends me' -- EXCLUSIVE

Natalie-PortmanImage Credit: David Gabber/PR PhotosNatalie Portman has starred in sci-fi epics (Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace), indie films (Garden State), and even the odd kid pic (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium). But there’s one type of movie she’s avoided until now: The romantic comedy. “I’ve always wanted to do one,” says the newly pregnant star, who’s finally jumping into the genre with this week’s No Strings Attached, co-starring Ashton Kutcher. “But the girls are always in fashion, and it’s always about their clothes. They always want to get married at the end. There’s some kind of makeover scene. That stuff offends me.”

Makeovers and fashion montages are nowhere to be found in No Strings Attached, the story of a doctor (Portman) and a TV writer (Kutcher) who decide to have a sex-only relationship. Portman says the script appealed to her because of its female take on the old guy-meets-girl scenario. “[Screenwriter] Liz Meriwether writes women so specifically and smartly,” says the actress. “My character is a woman who’s working, who’s trying to create her own construct for relationships, who’s funny herself — and isn’t just the girlfriend of a funny guy.”

More girl-centric humor might be in Portman’s future, too. The star, who just won Best Actress in a Drama for Black Swan at the Golden Globes, is developing female friendly comedies through her production company, Handsomecharlie Films. Currently in the works: Best Buds, a stoner roadtrip comedy, and BYO, which has been described as a female Superbad. “Natalie wants to build something that’s different from your usual production company,” says Portman’s producing partner, Annette Savitch. “We want to do movies that are female driven, from a fresher perspective. So if it’s a comedy, it’s not just about women out to find husbands. I think that’s really lacking today.”

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Comments (93 total) Add your comment
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  • marie j


    • Joe Malik

      It’s really too bad Kutcher totally ruins this movie.

      • SaraJ

        My thoughts exactly. Romantic comedies with Ashton Kutcher offend ME.

      • Shannon

        Hehe. Yeah, I give her credit for aiming a bit higher in romcom-dom
        (horrid word I’ve created), but it’s still Ashton Kutcher at the end of the day.
        And it’s not that I don’t like him. He just doesn’t belong in movies.

      • sooper

        I saw a screening of NSA and he was actually really cute in it, which surprised me. I went in as a Natalie fan and left liking him a lot more.

      • soz

        Seriously. Poor girl. James Franco and the movie might have been adorable!

      • STFU

        i love Kutcher. he can never ruin a movie. ya jackass. like you could do better!

    • Japanese Japanese HIROSHI

      With Kutcher co-starring in this movie, speaking for myself, it sounds more or less a recipe for disaster to her. Diversification is just fine, especially when the tide turns for you; but with Kutcher . . . ?! What’s more — I couldn’t imagine Portman in a rom-com either. Not to mention height difference. Downey Jr. the Iron Man wearing uber-high soles for Paltrow (a relatively tall lady) is one thing, but Kutcher is like 6’2” (185-187.5 cms). . . Just say’n.

  • Stacie

    I agree with Portman that I hate rom coms, but I still won’t see No Strings Attached. I don’t care how good-looking Ashton Kutcher is!

  • ekh


  • Tye-Grr


    She is flawless.

  • MojoJojo

    FINALLY! I thought it was just me, but the cookie cutter storylines and characters were starting to make me physically sick.

    • Liz Lemon

      Not just you. I’m so tired of Rom-coms in which the main female character is a journalist for a fashion magazine or a journalist for a fashion magazine or a journalist for a fashion magazine. I mean seriously!? It’s nice to see the main FEMALE character is a doctor and who has some dimension. Although, I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I hope this stands true.

      • Allison

        Ha! I actually want to be a writer for a fashion magazine, but I’ve hated every “journalist for a fashion magazine” movie. Hate, hate, hated. And they’re the first thing people ask me about when I say that’s what I want to focus on – “Oh, like the girl in ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days?” No, nothing like her.

  • banan

    Wow. Really Natalie? How about your GG acceptance speech? That offended me. Creating creation – what a load of crap

    • never laugh again, please.

      That awkward laugh of hers offended me.

      • Katja

        LOL I loved her laugh. I enjoy a good weird laugh – I think they’re more infectious and fun. There was a security analyst on the Daily Show the other day who had a high, absurd laugh, and it was fantastic. So anyways, I hope Natalie Portman laughs proudly; I thought it was totally endearingly weird.

    • ani

      you know, i was wondering why no one has really talked about how lame her speech was. i thought it was so pretentious yet, at the same time, utterly nonsensical.

      • Agree

        It was, I’m in total agreement. It was uncomfortable to listen to and watch.

      • KSG

        Agreed! It was very immature. Does she really have a Harvard degree?

      • Adrian

        I thought I was the only one who cringed during her acceptance speech!

      • Samantha

        Ani- my thoughts exactly.

      • Shannon

        I thought it was fine. It got a little weird and silly, but I didn’t have a problem with it. I knew what she meant.
        And, well… She’s very likely to have another speech-giving opportunity at the Oscars next month.

      • Liza

        Perhaps because this is an article about her take on romantic comedies, not about her acceptance speech? Justtt a thought. But since someone else brought us off-topic to this point, I thought her speech was nice. She exuded happiness and gratitude and she still seems surprised that she’s winning for this role, which I think is endearing. So what if she rambled a little? I found nothing pretentious about it. If I have to hear David Fincher say one more time in another undeserved acceptance speech for best director that Rooney Mara’s character was wrong about Mark Zuckerberg, I don’t know what I’ll do.

    • Shannon

      What’s wrong with giving props to creation?That’s what we’re all here to do, basically. Whether it’s creating life, a project, or a massive dump…
      Ok, I’m starting to see what you mean.
      She meant well, though.


    Oh PLEASE. Are you kidding me?! No Strings Attached looks just like every romcom ever made!
    “Soooo these two are just friends and they decide to just have sex with (lol) no strings attached” that’s the premise and you honestly expect me to believe that they don’t end up falling in love by the end like EVERY SINGLE ROMCOM EVER? THAT is offending to me. PLEASE N. Portman you sound like a pretentious douche.

    • Diane

      Ditto-let’s have sex. Ooops I feel something for you-but have to hide it because I claimed I wasn’t the one to fall in love… please I can hit all the high points in this movie, without seeing it, in my sleep.

      And just as a sidebar-what’s wrong with the makeover montage? Sometimes it’s more enjoyable than the insufferably boring leads.

    • Katja

      Well if they didn’t, it wouldn’t quite be a romantic comedy, would it? It would just be…a comedy. I think if you’re talking about a movie of a certain genre, you have to actually allow the thing that defines that genre to happen in the movie. :) Now, romantic comedies don’t have to always involve shopping-crazed women working in fashion and longing for husbands – so I agree with her about that. I HATE seeing that kind of romcom getting made over and over. I’m with NP, the prevalence of those kinds of female characters over women in more prestigious work (CEOs, doctors, professors, whatever) in romcoms gets on my nerves. It perpetuates stereotypes, to an extent. So I personally don’t care for it. But it’s fine if they fall in love because, again, that’s the point of the genre.

    • Joe

      Yes, but is she’s a doctor rather than a fashionista, that makes it progressive.

    • soz

      I’m not sure if her point is that this is the gold standard of rom-coms and doesn’t have any clichés at all, she was just saying there is a particular common cliché about women that comes up a lot in rom-coms that she dislikes, and it ain’t in this movie.

  • Anna

    Love this!!

  • sabrina W

    i had to laugh at this ! i like NP but come on what did u think u were doing in star wars ,there was a cliche love story (i loved it, but it is what it is)!!!
    i’d hate to think her critical acclaim and awards are getting to her head, that would be a shame! and girl they havent voted yet for best actress at the oscars so if i were u i’d keep mum and only say niceties!

    • Crystal

      But Star Wars has never been and never will be qualified as a “Romantic Comedy.” Yes, there might have been romance, but so do the majority of dramas, action films, and every other genre known to man.

      I like what Portman is saying, and I agree whole-heartedly. But I’ll believe “No Strings Attached” is NOT-cliche when I see it . . . which I won’t :) But, still, kudos to her for trying to make a difference in how women are portrayed in *all* films, including romantic comedies.

  • bel

    come on, why the hate? let’s not judge the movie before reviews are even out.

    • j

      but reviews ARE coming out of “no strings attached.” so we CAN judge.


  • Bab

    I think her Oscar chances take a nosedive with this one. Starring in a movie with Ashton Kutcher seems like the kiss of death for an acting career.

    • Diane

      Nope-she’ll win the Oscar and then the Razzie–backwards from Sandra Bullock, but I think on line with Halle Barry

      • Ash

        No chance for that, No Strings Attached hasn’t even come out yet. And with all the shity romcoms that have been made where no one gets a razzie, I doubt Natalie is going to have that bad luck

  • Cygnus

    I want to see a follow-up to The Professional, where she’s now the grown-up, kick-ass assassin.

    • Roger C.

      Beware, ask and you might receive something you didn’t want.

  • ikb

    she needs to stop acting like she’s above doing movies like romcoms. honey, besides black swan your movies haven’t exactly been award worthy. get that stick out of your pompous ass

    • Beau

      STFU, you self-important moron!

    • En

      Closer wasn’t award worthy? She was the best part of that movie. You unaware douche.. If you’re going to write hateful comments at least do your research

      • Jen

        She was the worst part of Closer. Completely unbeleivable in her role (as usual)

      • Molly

        Jen – she was nominated for an Oscar in Closer.

      • Jen

        And the Tourist was nominated for several GG awards this year.

      • Celimene

        Beg to differ there. I thought she and Clive Owens were the strongest links in that cast, followed by Julia Roberts and a very poor Jude Law. The scenes with Clive and Natalie were the only ones worth watching.

      • Pogi

        a Golden Globe is miles away from an Oscar Jen… do you even know the difference?

      • Alia

        I like her, I really do. But Closer was AWFUL.

      • Jen

        Ah yes, because the Academy said so, they must be right. NP played her usual baby-voiced, child-like self in Closer and not for one minute did I believe she was a stripper. I don’t need an award nomination to convince me otherwise.

      • soz

        It’s totally valid to dislike Closer, a lot of people did (although personally it’s one of my faves), but it’s not like she should be embarrassed about her performance in it or anything. I think an Oscar nod is pretty great validation as an actress.

  • kristine

    don’t get the natalie hate. she’s been nothing but a good actress and mostly quiet – no Lindsay Lohan type embarrassments, no diva moments. she opens her mouth a couple of times because she’s given an amazing performance and people want to talk to her, this time about why she doesn’t like rom-coms and OMG WHAT A B*TCH. please, people. shut up. go, natalie, go!

    • Sarah

      Agree, Kristine. Natalie is a smart, talented young woman who pretty much just does her thing while turning out (mostly) great performances. No stints in rehab, no hard partying, no embarassing exposes. She’s a great role model for young women. Love her.

  • Joe

    Didn’t she JUST get pregnant AND engaged?
    Sounds like a J-Lo movie…

    • soz

      To be fair, it’s not like those are unrelated.

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